BLOOMINGTON – The City of Bloomington Utilities Department (CBU) invites homeowners to apply for funding through the fourth annual Residential Stormwater Grants Program. A total of $100,000 has been dedicated in CBU’s 2022 budget to this program assisting owners of single-family residential property with environmentally-friendly drainage projects such as rain gardens, bioswales, and detention pond maintenance.
CBU will host two public information meetings about the grant application process and project requirements on Thursday, December 2, from 6 p.m. until 7 p.m. at Switchyard Park Pavilion, 1601 S. Rogers Street; and Tuesday, December 14, at Banneker Community Center, 930 W. 7th Street. The meetings will be recorded and available on the CBU grants webpage at www.bloomington.in.gov/utilities/stormwater/grants.
Prospective applicants must submit an application by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, February 1, 2022. The application may be submitted online at bloomington.in.gov/utilities/stormwater/grants.
The Residential Stormwater Grants Program provides small grants to homeowners for sustainable stormwater infrastructure projects on private residential property. Successful projects improve the management of stormwater before it enters local waterways or the city’s stormwater conveyance infrastructure known as the Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4). Localized flooding can occur when the MS4 infrastructure receives more water than it can accommodate in a short period of time. Managing stormwater, which if untreated, is also critical in preventing pollutants from the urban landscape from entering into our local waterways.
Funding for the program comes from the stormwater fee approved by City Council in 2018. Nearly one-quarter of the stormwater revenue funds green infrastructure improvements, such as installing environmentally-friendly infrastructure in City projects when “grey” infrastructure would traditionally be used. Along with the residential grants, these projects will contribute to improved stormwater management in the whole community.
In 2021, $70,000 was allocated to the Residential Stormwater Grants Program and 12 projects were funded. Projects ranged from around $2,000 to $14,000 and included rain gardens, dry creek beds, and other drainage stabilization projects.
“As the City continues to take action to mitigate and adapt to climate change, we look to partnerships within the community to amplify our collective impact,” said Mayor John Hamilton. “I encourage homeowners who are experiencing flooding issues to consider this option for protecting their property and the environment we share.”
Projects will be reviewed by an internal review committee, an external committee including members of the public, and the City’s Utilities Service Board. Projects will be ranked according to their potential to improve drainage and reduce the number of pollutants discharged into our waterways. Projects containing “greener” stormwater solutions and impacting lower-income census tracts will rank more favorably. Contiguous neighbors may apply together for one grant.